Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Genetics and Molecular Biology]]> vol. 37 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The lactase persistence genotype is a protective factor for the metabolic syndrome</b>]]> The Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is defined as a pattern of metabolic disturbances, which include central obesity, insulin resistance and hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Milk has been promoted as a healthy beverage that can improve the management of MetS. Most human adults, however, down-regulate the production of intestinal lactase after weaning. Lactase encoded by the LCT gene is necessary for lactose digestion. The -13910C > T SNP (rs4988235) is responsible for the lactase persistence phenotype in European populations. We herein investigated whether the lactase persistence genotype is also associated with the MetS in subjects from a Brazilian population of European descent. This study consisted of 334 individuals (average age of 41 years) genotyped by PCR-based methods for the -13910C > T SNP. Clinical data were assessed and the genotypes were tested for their independent contribution to the MetS using chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analysis. Univariate analyses showed that hypertension and MetS prevalence were higher in individuals with the lactase non-persistence genotype than in lactase persistence subjects. Furthermore, lactase persistence was associated with a lower risk for MetS (OR = 0.467; 95% CI 0.264-0.824; p = 0.009). These results suggest that LCT genotypes can be a valuable tool for the management of MetS treatment. <![CDATA[<b>c.G2114A <i>MYH9</i> mutation (DFNA17) causes non-syndromic autosomal dominant hearing loss in a Brazilian family</b>]]> We studied a family presenting 10 individuals affected by autosomal dominant deafness in all frequencies and three individuals affected by high frequency hearing loss. Genomic scanning using the 50k Affymetrix microarray technology yielded a Lod Score of 2.1 in chromosome 14 and a Lod Score of 1.9 in chromosome 22. Mapping refinement using microsatellites placed the chromosome 14 candidate region between markers D14S288 and D14S276 (8.85 cM) and the chromosome 22 near marker D22S283. Exome sequencing identified two candidate variants to explain hearing loss in chromosome 14 [PTGDR - c.G894A:p.R298R and PTGER2 - c.T247G:p.C83G], and one in chromosome 22 [MYH9, c.G2114A:p.R705H]. Pedigree segregation analysis allowed exclusion of the PTGDR and PTGER2 variants as the cause of deafness. However, the MYH9 variant segregated with the phenotype in all affected members, except the three individuals with different phenotype. This gene has been previously described as mutated in autosomal dominant hereditary hearing loss and corresponds to DFNA17. The mutation identified in our study is the same described in the prior report. Thus, although linkage studies suggested a candidate gene in chromosome 14, we concluded that the mutation in chromosome 22 better explains the hearing loss phenotype in the Brazilian family. <![CDATA[<b>Frequency of the allelic variant c.1150T > C in exon 10 of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (<i>FGFR3</i>) gene is not increased in patients with pathogenic mutations and related chondrodysplasia phenotypes</b>]]> Mutations in the FGFR3 gene cause the phenotypic spectrum of FGFR3 chondrodysplasias ranging from lethal forms to the milder phenotype seen in hypochondroplasia (Hch). The p.N540K mutation in the FGFR3 gene occurs in ~70% of individuals with Hch, and nearly 30% of individuals with the Hch phenotype have no mutations in the FGFR3, which suggests genetic heterogeneity. The identification of a severe case of Hch associated with the typical mutation c.1620C > A and the occurrence of a c.1150T > C change that resulted in a p.F384L in exon 10, together with the suspicion that this second change could be a modulator of the phenotype, prompted us to investigate this hypothesis in a cohort of patients. An analysis of 48 patients with FGFR3 chondrodysplasia phenotypes and 330 healthy (control) individuals revealed no significant difference in the frequency of the C allele at the c.1150 position (p = 0.34). One patient carrying the combination `pathogenic mutation plus the allelic variant c.1150T > C' had a typical achondroplasia (Ach) phenotype. In addition, three other patients with atypical phenotypes showed no association with the allelic variant. Together, these results do not support the hypothesis of a modulatory role for the c.1150T > C change in the FGFR3 gene. <![CDATA[<b>Lack of an association between SNPs within the cholinergic receptor genes and smoking behavior in a Czech post-MONICA study</b>]]> Smoking has a significant heritable component of approximately 30-60%. Recent genome wide association studies have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the nicotinic cholinergic receptor subunits 3 (rs578776), 5 (rs16969968) and β3 (rs6474412), which are associated with nicotine dependence in Western European populations. To analyze the association in a Czech population, we genotyped 1,191 males and 1,368 females (post-MONICA study). The WHO protocol was used to examine smoking status and the number of cigarettes smoked per day. There were 32.1% current and 27.6% past smokers among the males and 22.5% current and 13.8% past smokers among the females. We have not confirmed the original results: the SNPs rs16969968 (p = 0.07), rs578776 (p = 0.16) and rs6474412 (p = 0.76) were not associated with smoking status (never-smokers vs. ever-smokers) in the entire population, if a codominant model of analysis was used. This result was valid for both the male and female subpopulations if analyzed separately and adjusted for age. Finally, in ever-smokers, the number of cigarettes smoked per day was also independent of different genotypes, regardless of which polymorphism (and gender) was analyzed (the lowest p value was 0.49). The association between the cholinergic receptors - nicotinic subunits (-3, -5 and -ß3), and smoking behavior may be population-dependent. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of breeding value prediction for two traits in a Nellore-Angus crossbred population using different Bayesian modeling methodologies</b>]]> The objectives of this study were to 1) compare four models for breeding value prediction using genomic or pedigree information and 2) evaluate the impact of fixed effects that account for family structure. Comparisons were made in a Nellore-Angus population comprising F2, F3 and half-siblings to embryo transfer F2 calves with records for overall temperament at weaning (TEMP; n = 769) and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF; n = 387). After quality control, there were 34,913 whole genome SNP markers remaining. Bayesian methods employed were BayesB ( π = 0.995 or 0.997 for WBSF or TEMP, respectively) and BayesC (π = 0 and π), where π is the ideal proportion of markers not included. Direct genomic values (DGV) from single trait Bayesian analyses were compared to conventional pedigree-based animal model breeding values. Numerically, BayesC procedures (using π) had the highest accuracy of all models for WBSF and TEMP ( ρgg = 0.843 and 0.923, respectively), but BayesB had the least bias (regression of performance on prediction closest to 1, βy,x = 2.886 and 1.755, respectively). Accounting for family structure decreased accuracy and increased bias in prediction of DGV indicating a detrimental impact when used in these prediction methods that simultaneously fit many markers. <![CDATA[<b>Chromosomal diversity in three species of electric fish (Apteronotidae, Gymnotiformes) from the Amazon Basin</b>]]> Cytogenetic studies were carried out on samples of Parapteronotus hasemani, Sternarchogiton preto and Sternarchorhamphus muelleri (Apteronotidae, Gymnotiformes) from the Amazon basin. The first two species exhibited both a 2n = 52 karyotype, but differed in their karyotypic formulae, distribution of constitutive heterochromatin, and chromosomal location of the NOR. The third species, Sternarchorhamphus muelleri, was found to have a 2n = 32 karyotype. In all three species the DAPI and chromomycin A3 staining results were consistent with the C-banding results and nucleolar organizer region (NOR) localization. The 18S rDNA probe confirmed that there was only one pair of ribosomal DNA cistron bearers per species. The telomeric probe did not reveal interstitial telomeric sequences (ITS). The karyotypic differences among these species can be used for taxonomic identification. These data will be useful in future studies of these fishes and help understanding the phylogenetic relationships and chromosomal evolution of the Apteronotidae. <![CDATA[<b>Genetic identification of bucktooth parrotfish <i>Sparisoma radians</i> (Valenciennes, 1840) (Labridae, Scarinae) by chromosomal and molecular markers</b>]]> Parrotfishes (Labridae, Scarinae) comprise a large marine fish group of difficult identification, particularly during juvenile phase when the typical morphology and coloration of adults are absent. Therefore, the goal of this study was to test cytogenetic markers and DNA barcoding in the identification of bucktooth parrtotfish Sparisoma radians from the northeastern coast of Brazil. Sequencing of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) confirmed all studied samples as S. radians, and all showed high similarity (99-100%) with Caribbean populations. The karyotype of this species was divergent from most marine Perciformes, being composed of 2n = 46 chromosomes. These consisted of a large number of metacentric and submetacentric pairs with small amounts of heterochromatin and GC-rich single nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) not syntenic to 5S rDNA clusters. These are the first data about DNA barcoding in parrotfish from the Brazilian province and the first refined chromosomal analysis in Scarinae, providing useful data to a reliable genetic identification of S. radians. <![CDATA[<b>Comparative proteomic analysis of <i>indica</i> and <i>japonica</i> rice varieties</b>]]> Indica and japonica are two main subspecies of Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) that differ clearly in morphological and agronomic traits, in physiological and biochemical characteristics and in their genomic structure. However, the proteins and genes responsible for these differences remain poorly characterized. In this study, proteomic tools, including two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, were used to globally identify proteins that differed between two sequenced rice varieties (93-11 and Nipponbare). In all, 47 proteins that differed significantly between 93-11 and Nipponbare were identified using mass spectrometry and database searches. Interestingly, seven proteins were expressed only in Nipponbare and one protein was expressed specifically in 93-11; these differences were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR and proteomic analysis of other indica and japonica rice varieties. This is the first report to successfully demonstrate differences in the protein composition of indica and japonica rice varieties and to identify candidate proteins and genes for future investigation of their roles in the differentiation of indica and japonica rice. <![CDATA[<b>DNA barcoding in Atlantic Forest plants</b>: <b>what is the best marker for Sapotaceae species identification?</b>]]> The Atlantic Forest is a phytogeographic domain with a high rate of endemism and large species diversity. The Sapotaceae is a botanical family for which species identification in the Atlantic Forest is difficult. An approach that facilitates species identification in the Sapotaceae is urgently needed because this family includes threatened species and valuable timber species. In this context, DNA barcoding could provide an important tool for identifying species in the Atlantic Forest. In this work, we evaluated four plant barcode markers (matK, rbcL, trnH-psbA and the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region -ITS) in 80 samples from 26 species of Sapotaceae that occur in the Atlantic Forest. ITS yielded the highest average interspecific distance (0.122), followed by trnH-psbA (0.019), matK (0.008) and rbcL (0.002). For species discrimination, ITS provided the best results, followed by matK, trnH-psbA and rbcL. Furthermore, the combined analysis of two, three or four markers did not result in higher rates of discrimination than obtained with ITS alone. These results indicate that the ITS region is the best option for molecular identification of Sapotaceae species from the Atlantic Forest. <![CDATA[<b>Identification of novel and conserved microRNAs in <i>Coffea canephora</i> and <i>Coffea arabica</i></b>]]> As microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of many biological processes, a series of small RNAomes from plants have been produced in the last decade. However, miRNA data from several groups of plants are still lacking, including some economically important crops. Here microRNAs from Coffea canephora leaves were profiled and 58 unique sequences belonging to 33 families were found, including two novel microRNAs that have never been described before in plants. Some of the microRNA sequences were also identified in Coffea arabica that, together with C. canephora, correspond to the two major sources of coffee production in the world. The targets of almost all miRNAs were also predicted on coffee expressed sequences. This is the first report of novel miRNAs in the genus Coffea, and also the first in the plant order Gentianales. The data obtained establishes the basis for the understanding of the complex miRNA-target network on those two important crops. <![CDATA[<b>Analysis of the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway cloning, molecular characterization and phylogeny of lanosterol 14α</b><b>-demethylase (ERG11) gene of <i>Moniliophthora perniciosa</i></b>]]> The phytopathogenic fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa (Stahel) Aime & Philips-Mora, causal agent of witches' broom disease of cocoa, causes countless damage to cocoa production in Brazil. Molecular studies have attempted to identify genes that play important roles in fungal survival and virulence. In this study, sequences deposited in the M. perniciosa Genome Sequencing Project database were analyzed to identify potential biological targets. For the first time, the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway in M. perniciosa was studied and the lanosterol 14α-demethylase gene (ERG11) that encodes the main enzyme of this pathway and is a target for fungicides was cloned, characterized molecularly and its phylogeny analyzed. ERG11 genomic DNA and cDNA were characterized and sequence analysis of the ERG11 protein identified highly conserved domains typical of this enzyme, such as SRS1, SRS4, EXXR and the heme-binding region (HBR). Comparison of the protein sequences and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the M. perniciosa enzyme was most closely related to that of Coprinopsis cinerea. <![CDATA[<b>Clustering of water bodies in unpolluted and polluted environments based on <i>Escherichia coli</i> phylogroup abundance using a simple interaction database</b>]]> Different types of water bodies, including lakes, streams, and coastal marine waters, are often susceptible to fecal contamination from a range of point and nonpoint sources, and have been evaluated using fecal indicator microorganisms. The most commonly used fecal indicator is Escherichia coli, but traditional cultivation methods do not allow discrimination of the source of pollution. The use of triplex PCR offers an approach that is fast and inexpensive, and here enabled the identification of phylogroups. The phylogenetic distribution of E. coli subgroups isolated from water samples revealed higher frequencies of subgroups A1 and B2(3) in rivers impacted by human pollution sources, while subgroups D1 and D2 were associated with pristine sites, and subgroup B1 with domesticated animal sources, suggesting their use as a first screening for pollution source identification. A simple classification is also proposed based on phylogenetic subgroup distribution using the w-clique metric, enabling differentiation of polluted and unpolluted sites. <![CDATA[<b>Chromosomal damage and apoptosis analysis in exfoliated oral epithelial cells from mouthwash and alcohol users</b>]]> Chromosomal damage and apoptosis were analyzed in users of mouthwash and/or alcoholic beverages, using the micronucleus test on exfoliated oral mucosa cells. Samples from four groups of 20 individuals each were analyzed: three exposed groups (EG1, EG2 and EG3) and a control group (CG). EG1 comprised mouthwash users; EG2 comprised drinkers, and EG3 users of both mouthwashes and alcoholic beverages. Cell material was collected by gently scraping the insides of the cheeks. Then the cells were fixed in a methanol/acetic acid (3:1) solution and stained and counterstained, respectively, with Schiff reactive and fast green. Endpoints were computed on 2,000 cells in a blind test. Statistical analysis showed that chromosomal damage and apoptosis were significantly higher in individuals of groups EG1 and EG3 than in controls (p < 0.005 and p < 0.001, respectively). No significant difference in chromosomal damage and apoptosis was observed between the exposed groups. In EG2, only the occurrence of apoptosis was significantly higher than in the controls. These results suggest that mouthwashes alone or in association with alcoholic drinks induce genotoxic effects, manifested as chromosomal damage and apoptosis. They also suggest that alcoholic drinks are effective for stimulating the process of apoptosis. However, these data need to be confirmed in larger samples. <![CDATA[<b>Targeted disruption of the mouse testis-enriched gene <i>Znf230</i> does not affect spermatogenesis or fertility</b>]]> The mouse testis-enriched Znf230 gene, which encodes a type of RING finger protein, is present primarily in the nuclei of spermatogonia, the acrosome and the tail of spermatozoa. To investigate the role of Znf230 in spermatogenesis, we generated Znf230-deficient mice by disrupting Znf230 exon-5 and exon-6 using homologous recombination. The homozygous Znf230-knockout (KO) mice did not exhibit Znf230 mRNA expression and Znf230 protein production. Znf230 KO mice exhibited no obvious impairment in body growth or fertility. Male Znf230 KO mice had integral reproductive systems and mature sperm that were regular in number and shape. The developmental stages of male germ cells of Znf230 KO mice were also normal. We further examined variations in the transcriptomes of testicular tissue between Znf230 KO and wild-type mice through microarray analysis. The results showed that the mRNA level of one unclassified transcript 4921513I08Rik was increased and that the mRNA levels of three other transcripts, i.e., 4930448A20Rik, 4931431B13Rik and potassium channel tetramerisation domain containing 14(Kctd14), were reduced more than two-fold in Znf230 KO mice compared with wild-type mice. Using our current examination techniques, these findings suggested that Znf230 deficiency in mice may not affect growth, fertility or spermatogenesis. <![CDATA[<b>PCI-24781 down-regulates EZH2 expression and then promotes glioma apoptosis by suppressing the PIK3K/Akt/mTOR pathway</b>]]> PCI-24781 is a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor that inhibits tumor proliferation and promotes cell apoptosis. However, it is unclear whether PCI-24781 inhibits Enhancer of Zeste 2 (EZH2) expression in malignant gliomas. In this work, three glioma cell lines were incubated with various concentrations of PCI-24781 (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5 and 5 M) and analyzed for cell proliferation by the MTS 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium assay and colony formation, and cell cycle and apoptosis were assessed by flow cytometry. The expression of EZH2 and apoptosis-related proteins was assessed by western blotting. Malignant glioma cells were also transfected with EZH2 siRNA to examine how PCI-24781 suppresses tumor cells. EZH2 was highly expressed in the three glioma cell lines. Incubation with PCI-24781 reduced cell proliferation and increased cell apoptosis by down-regulating EZH2 in a concentration-dependent manner. These effects were simulated by EZH2 siRNA. In addition, PCI-24781 or EZH2 siRNA accelerated cell apoptosis by down-regulating the expression of AKT, mTOR, p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70s6k), glycogen synthase kinase 3A and B (GSK3a/b) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). These data suggest that PCI-24781 may be a promising therapeutic agent for treating gliomas by down-regulating EZH2 which promotes cell apoptosis by suppressing the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway.